“Andre the Giant: Life and Legend” by Box Brown

No one knew Andre the Giant. Everyone knew who he was, once he gained fame as a professional wrestler, once The Princess Bride was released, and once Shepard Fairey plastered his face on a million buildings. But Box Brown’s new graphic novel biography highlights how little people knew of Andre Roussimoff in real life. He had colleagues in the wrestling world, he was friends with actors and celebrities, he had girlfriends, he even had a daughter. But he remains a mystery. Readers looking for an answer to that mystery will be disappointed by this biography. It’s entertaining, well-written, and masterfully illustrated, but the story of Andre’s life is told from the outside looking in, with no special insight into his point of view.

It’s worth reading, and I certainly learned more about Andre’s life than I knew before. But if anything, Brown’s book heightens the mystery surrounding the man. Fair warning: this book will whet your appetite for the full story, without providing satisfaction.  Reading it is a bittersweet experience.

Read if you enjoyed: Fun Home by Alison Bechdel, Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

Find Andre the Giant at Multnomah County Library

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